Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Mid Week in My Town

After a bit of a break from any sort of organized blogging, I am making a bit of an effort here to return to one of my favorite features. Wednesday is “Midweek in My Town”, offering you, the ‘oh-so-lucky reader‘, a taste of Maple Ridge.

Where shall we go today?
How about here…

This is the local Masonic Hall, a place that my family is very much involved with. This hall sees someone from my family within its walls at least once a week. The kids youth groups are run from here, as are dances and special ceremonies.

I am always amazed when someone tells me they haven’t heard of the Freemasons. They are such a big group, and exist in almost every city in North America. It used to be quite hush-hush to be a member of the Masons, but these days, it is not so cloak and dagger. Masons are a large fraternity, a group of men who are like brothers to each other. They support each other and their communities. They are probably most well known for their contribution towards the battle against cancer .You may have heard of the Cancer Car program. The Masons raise money to buy cars, which they volunteer to drive cancer patients too and from their chemo and radiation treatments.

The kids are in groups that are so called branches of the Masonic Family. The girls group is called Jobs Daughters
(or Jobies). The boys are called Demolay. Both groups hold business meetings twice a month. There the kids learn to run an organization on Roberts Rules of Order. They make decisions on what fundraisers to do, how to spend the money and what charitable deeds to participate in. There are both elected officers and appointed positions. Twice a year, new terms begin and the new officers are sworn into their new positions. This ceremony is called an installation of officers and is a formal event. This is the time that the girls get to wear long evening gowns and up-do hairstyles etc. There is always a dance following the ceremony. Its cute to see the kids in all their finery shaking their booties to all sorts of funky tunes.

Some famous Demolay include Walt Disney, Bill Clinton and Brad Paisley. Many famous people got their start with these organizations. It teaches the kids self respect, respect for others, confidence, public speaking and fairness in leadership.

Back to the building itself, Prince David’s Lodge Masonic Hall - The Masonic Hall was originally constructed on the Lougheed Highway (north side between 224th and 225th) in 1931, and moved to its present location on 116th Avenue in 1980. The Hall has been in continuous use since it was built. The main floor consists of a hall with kitchen. On the second floor is the Masonic Lodge. It is one of Maple Ridges heritage buildings. It is often rented out for weddings. It is also rented as a church on Sundays.

Freemasonry has recently drawn alot of attention due to its mention in Dan Brown's best seller the DaVinci Code. I have heard people,say it is a cult. That could'nt be further from the truth. I have seen nothing but good come of it. A brotherhood for men, based on sharing,equality and community service. Friendship, confidence and leadership training for our youngsters. Above all, a heealthy respect for others, for family and reverance for a higher power than ourselves.


edge said...

This is a wonderful post. I have been exposed to these organizations since I was a child. Thanks for the memories. That building is wonderful.

Dick said...

You are right about Masons and their affiliated groups. Others include Eastern Star & Amaranth for ladies and Rainbow for girls, plus Royal Arch & Shriners for the men. I am a Past Master (1977) of Mark P Waterman Lodge on Vashon Island, WA but haven't been active in the Lodge since leaving Vashon in 1979. Many of their buildings were built some years ago and often are historical treasurers in our communities.

August95 said...

HI Susan, thanks for the info. My father in law will never talk about the Masons. I think he is just trying to keep me asking lol.

Hope you are enjoying all this wonderful weather.

Fred said...

I've heard of Freemasons, but frankly had no idea what they were about. Thanks for a great post.

40spoet said...

thank you for the interesting information. my ex family is all about lodges:{ masons,eastern star, loyal orange benevolent association, loyal orange lodge) i was never part of it. in fact, the lol and loba in my ex village is growing smaller by the year, what with all the seniors passing and the younger generation (like my age) not interested in the lodge. it is a shame, too. part of history which will be lost. happy thursday.

starry nights said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. nice post, heard about the Freemasons before but did not know exactly what they did. thanks for the info.